SMPTE Announces Annual Award Recipients for 2021

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Sept. 9, 2021 — SMPTE, the home of media professionals, technologists, and engineers, today disclosed the list of industry leaders and innovators who will be honored at this year’s SMPTE Awards Gala.

“This year’s honorees have done so much, in so many ways, to help our industry evolve and grow,” said Hans Hoffmann, SMPTE president. “Their achievements include remarkable technical advances from image capture to display, creative solutions for increasing representation across the industry, leadership in research and education, innovation in delivering moving images to consumers around the world, and critical work in standards development. We’re proud to highlight and honor their work at this year’s SMPTE virtual Awards Gala.”

Honorary Membership, the Society’s highest accolade, recognizes individuals who have performed distinguished service in the advancement of engineering in motion pictures, television, or the allied arts and sciences. This year, SMPTE will bestow three such honors. The Society will confer Honorary Membership upon Christopher J. Cookson and Peter Jackson, and will posthumously recognize the addition of David Sarnoff to the SMPTE Honor Roll.

The Progress Medal is the most prestigious SMPTE award, and it recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the progress of the engineering phases of the motion-picture, television, or motion-imaging industries. SMPTE will present the 2021 Progress Medal to two recipients: Wendy Aylsworth and Girish Balakrishnan.

The Camera Origination and Imaging Medal recognizes significant technical achievements related to inventions or advances in imaging technology, including sensors, imaging processing electronics, and the overall embodiment and application of image-capture devices. This year, the Society posthumously recognizes Robert A. Dischert (1929-1991).

The David Sarnoff Medal, sponsored by SRI International, recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of new techniques or equipment that have improved the engineering phases of television technology, including large-venue presentations. The award will be presented to Youngkwon Lim.

The Excellence in Education Medal, sponsored by William C. Miller and Ellen Sontag-Miller, recognizes outstanding contributions to new or unique educational programs that teach the technologies of motion pictures, television, or other imaging sciences, including emerging media technology. Huw Davies is being recognized this year.

The Digital Processing Medal recognizes significant technical achievements related to the development of digital processing of content for cinema, television, games, or other related media. Nick Wells will receive the award.

The James A. Lindner Archival Technology Medal, sponsored by James A. Lindner, recognizes significant technical advancements or contributions related to the invention or development of technology, techniques, workflows, or infrastructure for the long-term storage, archive, or preservation of media content essence. The 2021 award will be presented to Linda Tadic.

The Workflow Systems Medal, sponsored by Leon D. Silverman, recognizes outstanding contributions related to the development and integration of workflows, such as integrated processes, end-to-end systems, or industry ecosystem innovations that enhance creativity, collaboration, and efficiency, or novel approaches to the production, postproduction, or distribution process. The award will be presented to Moxion.

The Natalie M. and Herbert T. Kalmus Medal recognizes outstanding contributions that reflect a commitment to the highest standards of quality and innovation in motion-picture production, postproduction, and distribution services. This year’s medal will be awarded to Harald Brendel.

The Journal Award is presented to the authors of the most outstanding paper originally published in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal during the preceding calendar year. This year’s award will be presented to Anustup Choudhury, Jaclyn Pytlarz, and Scott Daly.

The Journal Certificate of Merit will be presented to Michael D. Smith, Michael Zink, and Aansh Malik.

The Presidential Proclamation recognizes individuals of established and outstanding status and reputation in the motion-picture, television, and motion-imaging industries worldwide. Five individuals are being recognized this year: Ava DuVernay, Anne Jacobsen, Franklin Leonard, Kohji Mitani, and Jayshree Ullal.

The Excellence in Standards Award recognizes individuals or companies that have been actively involved in advancing the Society’s standards, activities, and processes. Pierre-Anthony Lemieux is being honored.

This year, three standards participants will be appreciated, including Hideki Ohtaka, Thomas Heritage, and John Mailhot.

The Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society, which recognizes individuals for dedicated service for the betterment of the Society over a sustained period, will be conferred upon three SMPTE Members: Tony Meerakker, François Bourdua, and Daniel Guévin.

The Student Paper Award recognizes the outstanding paper prepared and submitted by a Student Member. The 2021 award will be presented to Aaron DeMolder.

The Louis F. Wolf Jr. Memorial Scholarship is designed to assist students in furthering their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology. The 2021 scholarship will be awarded to SMPTE Student Member Monica Brighton.

Seventeen new SMPTE Fellows will also be recognized this year. This honor is conferred on individuals who have, through their proficiency and contributions to the motion-picture, television, or related industries, attained an outstanding rank among engineers or executives in media and entertainment. The new SMPTE Fellows are:

  • Robert Brunelle
  • Dean C. Bullock
  • Tim Carroll
  • Andrew Cotton
  • Richard Lindsay-Davies
  • Dagmar Driesnack
  • Joseph Goldstone
  • Sally Hattori
  • George H. Joblove
  • Wicky Man Hoi Law
  • Luann Linnebur
  • Jaclyn Pytlarz
  • David Reisner
  • David Ross
  • Yoshiaki Shishikui
  • Richard Welsh
  • William Werner

Further details about SMPTE Fellows and citations for all 2021 honorees are posted at More information about SMPTE is available at